WashU Expert: Trump has no clear plan for reducing drug prices

Donald Trump speaking
Donald Trump speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Creative Commons)

Despite announcing in his first press conference that he would deal with a pharmaceutical industry “getting away with murder,” President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have a clear path for how he will reduce drug prices, said Rachel Sachs, associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis and expert on drug regulation and health law.

Rachel Sachs

“Trump does not seem to understand that achieving the goal of lower drug prices may come with tradeoffs, such as reduced access through formularies, and he does not appear to differentiate between high-value drugs, which deserve high prices, and low-value drugs, which do not,” Sachs said.

His comments Jan. 11 caused a controversy that reverberated on Wall Street, where drug-industry stocks dropped drastically. Trump is tapping into the worry that many Americans have about drug pricing and drug affordability, she said.

“His comments were even more unexpected because they were not the result of a specific scandal, like the recent debate over the price of the Epipen,” Sachs said.

While Trump has offered no concrete plans surrounding drug pricing reform, “I and other drug pricing scholars look forward to his detailed plans on the subject,” she said.

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